Five Years Later: Final Implementation Lessons from the Evaluation of Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and Their Partners. Building Relationships between Corrections and Community Agencies


MFS-IP programs faced unique challenges in cross-agency collaboration and partnership based on their charge: to implement human services programming within correctional institution walls. Many faced the challenge of delivering concurrent or continuous services in the community as well.

The grantees themselves came from both within and outside the local correctional system (see Table 1), and the particular obstacles they faced in these endeavors differed based on the sector from which they came.

Chief among the challenges faced by both corrections and community-based agencies was the need to collaborate for service delivery within and outside of the prison walls. Because healthy organizational partnerships were essential to service delivery in many sites, overcoming the challenges associated with building and maintaining these partnerships was central to a grantee’s ability to achieve its program goals. Depending on each grantee’s agency type, infrastructure and program design, partner organizations might have included:

  • The state department of correction
  • Correctional facility personnel
  • Probation and parole agencies
  • County social service agencies
  • Domestic violence agencies
  • Other community- and faith-based organizations


Table 1. MFS-IP Grantees
Site Location Type of Grantee Agency
Centerforce San Rafael, California Community-based nonprofit
Child and Family Services of New Hampshire Manchester, New Hampshire Community-based nonprofit
Indiana Department of Correction Indianapolis, Indiana State correctional agency
Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota Sioux Falls, South Dakota Faith-based organization
Maryland Department of Human Resources Baltimore, Maryland State human services agency
Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice Minneapolis, Minnesota Community-based nonprofit
New Jersey Department of Corrections Trenton, New Jersey State correctional agency
Oakland Livingston Human Services Association Pontiac, Michigan Community-based nonprofit
The Osborne Association Brooklyn, New York Community-based nonprofit
The RIDGE Project Defiance, Ohio Faith-based organization
Shelby County Division of Correction Memphis, Tennessee County correctional agency
Texas Arms of Love /People of Principle Odessa, Texas Community-based nonprofit

Some grantees reached out to the community for service delivery and partnership building, while others “reached in” to correctional institutions. Both models were successful and both had significant challenges.

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